Open That Bottle Night: 2009 Ojai Vineyard Syrah at The Beach #OTBN

The Ojai Vineyard 2009 Syrah special bottling is indeed special

The final Saturday of February is “Open That Bottle Night”– a night when you just say, heck why not, life is short, drink the good stuff. Not sure about you but that’s kind of been the mood around here for the past few years during the pandemic anyway…

So with plans to grill a steak at the beach on a chilly drizzly night, I was rooting around in the “cellar” (under my stairs in my below grade room), and felt the waxy closure of The Ojai Vineyard’s 2009 Special Bottling Syrah from Solomon Hills. Only three barrels were made, and when I was in the tasting room one time, I allowed myself to splurge and get this.

Wine Predator Gwendolyn Alley on the prowl

Now a few years ago, Sue and I participated in an EXTENSIVE Ojai Vineyard tasting of older vintages of mostly Pinot Noir that had been cellared well and yet they all didn’t really hold up that well; read all about it here.

So while I trusted my instincts when I purchased the bottle, I figured NOW was the time to open it and see what was within… and if possible save a smidgeon for Sue to taste.

Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen! Not because the wine was bad, but because it was so good that even with my best intentions, we drank it all…   

While the cork crumbled when I opened it, making me a bit nervous, the wine within was soft, smooth, elegant yet still vibrant with both blue and red fruit, plus plenty of pepper. There was something about it that just went with the damp evening at the beach sheltered by a hillside covered in swaying eucalyptus trees: the perfect wine with which to enjoy our evening and our meal at a beach only 30 or so miles away from where the grapes were grown. 

The wine is low at 12.9% alcohol. Vinified in 20% New French Oak and barrel aged for 18 months with a total production of only 70 cases. Truly special.

So what’s in YOUR glass? How are you celebrating “Open That Bottle Night”?

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